concert memoirs pt. 14 – husker du & red lorry yellow lorry

Husker Du w/Man-sized Action

3/31/86 First Avenue w/John Ticket Price: $6.00

Here is the fourth time that John and I had seen Husker Du. With the exception of the first time and the last time seeing the band, the shows are all a blur of sonic assault, slam dancing & sweat. I’ve already talked about the first show and the last show I will go over soon.

I’m going to relate two stories that occurred at Husker Du shows. I’m sure that one of these events happened at this show, but I can’t say for sure that both did. One or the other may have occurred at a previous show.

Before I go into those stories I want to let you know that one of my sources for this series, other than my or other’s memories, is the website for the Minnesota Historical Society. At this link – http://www.mnhs.org/library/findaids/00233.html – you will find a listing of most of the acts that played First Avenue and the 7th Street Entry from 1981 to 1998.

The list isn’t complete and is, in some cases, incorrect. I’m not sure of the reason for the errors. It may be because of last minute changes or some such.

I say this because I don’t remember Man-sized Action opening that night. That’s not so unusual, but my recollection is that Man-sized Action had broken up before then. Man-sized Action was a local band that had two really good records, ‘Claustrophobia’ and ‘Five Story Garage’, but I’m sure they weren’t together at that time. I would see members Tippy and Pat Woods hanging out at First Avenue, but I don’t remember seeing the band until later at a reunion show.

So, the two stories related to Husker Du shows. First. My custom at the punk rock shows had been to watch the band for the first song or two, then pocket my glasses and jump into the pit. On this occasion I was a little slow in getting my glasses into my pocket, I got bumped and dropped them.

If you wear glasses I’m sure you know that feeling of panic when you lose them. Especially if your eyesight is as bad as mine. I immediately stopped, looked down and spotted them at my feet. Phew! I picked them up, put them on… they were not my glasses!! What are the odds? Not that big I suppose.

I spotted a fellow holding up a pair of glasses that turned out to be mine. Then I saw another fellow who appeared to be searching for his glasses, which I had. Everyone got the glasses back, undamaged. Phew! Again.

The second story I have is my bumper story. A bumper is the person who stands at the perimeter of the slam dance pit (I refuse to call it “mosh”. Call me old.) and acts as a bumper. He helps keep slammers from banging into the folks who don’t want to do any slam dancing. Whenever I got too exhausted to go on (goon?), I would do the bumper thing.

At one of the Husker Du shows I attended, I was acting as a bumper when two punkers came barreling around in what I referred to as a “helicopter”. That’s where the two morons link arms and whirl each other around and knock several people down and piss everyone off.

I was so annoyed by the helicopter move that I decided I’d had enough of these asshats. As they came around to where I was standing and started to pass by me, I grabbed both and, using their momentum, rushed them right up the stage where they dropped to the floor. I went back to my spot and the fellow standing next to me patted me on the back and said, “Good job.”

Red Lorry Yellow Lorry w/Crime the City Solution
4/21/86 First Avenue w/John & Cindy Ticket Price: $5.00

Cindy was a women John and I had met while hanging out at the Club Degenerate nights at First Avenue. We eventually got to know her. John figured she would hang around with us mainly because he would give her a ride home. At the end of the night, he would watch her go around to other people she knew, person by person, group by group, until she would get to us and we’d give her a lift home.

I think I’ll write a separate blog about Cindy. She deserves one.

Anyway, I mention Cindy because she was with us for this show. She had been to other shows that John and I had been to at First Avenue, but this is the only one at which she joined us to watch the band. We probably gave her a ride home that night.

Cindy was rather taken with The Lorries’ lead singer. She thought he was “sooo English”. Cheerio, pip, pip, I say! Tally ho!

Red Lorry Yellow Lorry had a very commanding presence. They gave the appearance of being rough and dangerous (and English, according to Cindy). They put on a good show, even if they didn’t play ‘Spinning Around’. That must have been very upsetting to one fellow at the show, because he kept calling for the band to play it.

Shame, I would have enjoyed hearing the song myself.

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